Star Wars: Battlefront 2 And Micro-Transactions

Another year brings another broken gaming model. This time it takes the form of a beloved franchise in Star Wars: Battlefront 2.

These days we’re use to games that break out of the box and companies that release tons of garbage that could have been programmers’ weekend projects.

When you pay $60 for a new game from a top company you expect a full gaming experience. You don’t expect Farmville-style up-selling spam. So gamers were rightfully angry when they found out Battlefront 2 would ship with a pay-to-win storefront (game companies are calling this a “mechanic” now).

I’m definitely old-fashioned but I still cling to the idea that when you pay for something it belongs to you. This isn’t the way the world works anymore, but it’s a nice dream I’m trying to hold onto.

Battlefront 2 Drops Monetization

At least this time the outcry is having some success: EA is pulling the money-grab and crying about not having a way to “re-monetize” the game…. what? Re-monetize a game that people have already paid for in full?

All is not lost. Purchases will re-appear at some point in the future but Dice says they won’t affect game progression. That is, you don’t have to pay more to win the game you bought.

It costs a lot to make a AAA game. I get it. But don’t blame your customers for reacting to your bad business model. This is a classic example of a business putting what it values ahead of what the customer values. They deserve the burn they get for the grab.

Battlefront 2 Is a Focal Point for a Problem With No Easy Answer

This is a problem with no easy answer. You can understand what drives a game company to monetize the heck out of their title. I hope they “get” why people are upset about this.

Apparently DLC and the upfront cost of the game aren’t enough to make up the slim margins developers face anymore. People want free games. So many developers are adopting the social gaming model to encourage people to buy frequently to get that hit – why not apply it traditional console games too, right? Micro-transactions aren’t just part of the game, are are the game in many cases.

You might argue that as long as people reward this business model, companies will continue to develop experiences around it. It seems we’ve gone past that point to where developers feel this is their best way to make money. You can’t choose a different model. This is what we’re stuck with.

My Decision For Now: No Buy

The game looks gorgeous. I am tempted to buy a PS4 or Xbox just to play this thing. I want to share this with my kid. But I am afraid the game I buy won’t be the game I get. I our Star Wars experience will just be seeing The Last Jedi this Christmas.


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